Monday, January 25, 2016

She Has Had A Lot Of Interest In The Church And Really Likes How It's Focused On The Family


Well first, thanks mom for that first part of the letter especially. I was sitting here and just felt the spirit and your love so strong. That is really what makes the mission worth it. Feeling the spirit and always the people. I am not there with you and the family, but it is one of the many reasons i am on a mission. Also dont worry, i didnt get home sick, or really have ever. Its weird not to be home for all of this (Josh's sister Bri is coming home from her missin to the Philippines on Thursday), but i am here on a mission. If i asked for anything more, that would be selfish of me. I am doing what i feel like i should be doing.

The new area is great. We live in Prosser and most of the ward is here, but we actually spend a lot of our time in a smaller city called Mabton. One funny thing, this week we found out that there are two big gangs here. I guess it sometimes gets a little crazy too. The elders that left before us talked to this guy and he wanted to talk again, so we meet him in a park. Well he is a for sure gangster! He had tattoos everywhere. his whole face his head arms legs chest. It was really weird. It was hard to keep it a gospel conversation with his music in his pocket. He ended up just telling us a bunch of stories. They were crazy. hes been shot 5 times!! like in the back of  the head, the leg and twice in the ribs. The last one was 2 weeks ago. He showed us the stitches. when we talked to him like 30 minutes earlier he got arrested but had to let him go. so it was a crazy weird experience that i dint think was ever going to happen. Some guy also has a wolf as a pet, we had to ask him to make sure, but it was. but thats another story. Really the point is, this city is crazy. They call it mini Mexico. there are even roaming around Pit bulls. But its really fun and we have a lot of success. But ya doubled in is when both missionaries are new to the area. i guess thats not a normal thing for most people to talk about like us. i dont know if President Ware does it that much, but kinda. Elder Harward has done it 4 times! i am on my way i think. We get along really good, he is a really good missionary. but ya we also do have a car. its a 2014 ford fusion. so still nice cars. We also have it to ourselves. We go to a spanish group at 10 to 1 and english ward 1 to 4. the spanish group kids go with the kids at 9 o'clock then the last hour is spanish with their parents. We had to give talks again. But it was pretty easy. My spanish has got a lot better. I have a lot more confidence with it, and thats almost all that matters. we dont talk spanish all the time as a companionship, but i probably will start just so i get lots better. The spanish group has like 30 people and the english ward is a few hundred people. its pretty big. I dont know about D--. i hope she got baptized this last week, but i dont know for sure. We have been teaching M--, the old lady. its been pretty good. there is something that is keeping her back from being baptized. She knows that she wants it and knows the blessings from it and wants to be married for eternity with her husband. but she said that there is something that is holding her back. we are jsut helping her learn more and more. We know that she will come around and will want to be baptized. She also came to church! and loved it!! she learned a lot and said that she wants to come back next week. Its always a lot of fun to go over there. they are the nicest old people. We also got an awesome referral from a member. the ladys name is T--. she has had a lot of interest in the church and really likes how its focused on the family. she has noticed a difference with the cops that are of our church and wants to be more like them. She is a cop also. she has read up to Alma 25!! before we even had a lesson! its crazy. she says that she knows that it is true and dosnt know why it wouldn't be. The member we brought over, they both had a little run into that didnt end happy earlier. really just she because she is a cop. the member didnt realize that it was her until we got in the house. It ended up good between them. T-- said that she wants to go to church with that member so its not weird. she will be kinda like a family with them. So she is coming next week and she is going to get baptized a little down the road.

We also do get dinners every night! its bad kinda, i am going to get fat! we have a scale and i way 165! almost. so i have gained some i dont know how much, but i am going on a mini diet and not eating candy and cookies. at least as much. i dont think i could stop it completely. there is this Mexican restaurant called El Caporal. every time a member takes us out to eat its been there! we have been there i think 4 times now. When anyone wants to take us out to eat its going to be weird if they dont say, do you want to go to El cap?? none of them can say it normal so they shortened it. its good food though. The members here are awesome. We are working at getting them to help us more and more with the work and its going well.

Thanks for writing again. its good to hear that all back in lehi has been good. I miss it there. but it will be there when i get back! well i hope. i will be sure to give bri a wave when she flies by (Bri has a layover in Seattle Washington). you are all lucky to be able to see her! i love you all!!

Elder Mortensen
i also have some pictures! also Jordan said that he would like my letters to be forwarded to him. could you do that. its just easier i think. but it not just let me know and i could do it.

These are the other two elders I lived with in Hermiston. We were all great
 friends. The left is Elder Johnson the right is elder Benson

This is Hermano C--.  He is the guy that was always willing to come with us in Hermiston.
He is awesome and had an amazing testimony and knowledge about the gospel.  

Elder Laffiteau and Elder Mortensen with the L-- family. They are awesome members
from the Hermiston ward. They are recent converts and they have the
daughter that we were reactivating. Its was great. I learned a lot of Spanish with them.

The Spanish District in Hermiston
Elder Mortensen, Elder Laffiteau and K--.  We taught her for a
long time.  She will be baptized eventually for sure.  

Monday, January 18, 2016

It's So Hard To Leave Everyone In Hermiston After Getting To Know Them So Well, But I Know This Is Where I Need To Be Right Now


guess what!! i am not even in Oregon anymore!! Me and elder Laffiteau got doubled out and both got doubled in to different places. He went to Pasco and i am now in a little town called Prosser! and Mabton!!  Its great here but it is super confusing because the roads follow the curve in the river so they make a few weird turns and it keeps us guessing on what way is north. i dont know why i cant get it here but i cant. We are right next to the river so it is always really foggy and we only had one half day of sun shine so far. The members here are amazing though. They also have some crazy houses also. some own like 50,000 acre farms and their houses are up in the hills and have a cool view. There is almost mountains here! not really but a lot more of a hill then Hermiston. its has hard to leave everyone in Hermiston after getting to know them so well but i know this is where i need to be right now. D-- is going to get baptized, or should be i dont know, this week. i should be able to go back down for that, but i dont know yet. I have an awesome companion, Elder Harward, from Herriman! He is 5'3" and an amazing missionary. he is also the District leader. He has already taught me alot about street contacting. One thing that we are trying to get better at is to make sure that it is different every time and we dont get into any traditions. President Ware doesn't like traditions. He tells us a tradition is something you do without having to put any thought into it and it blocks the spirit. So we are getting better at that always. We had a lot of potentials part member families and less actives to find and teach, so that is what we did the most of. Elder Lauti, my MTC companion, was here and his companion broke his leg playing basketball and had to go home, so Elder Lauti went to Kenniwick. so there hasnt been missionaries here for a few weeks. because of that we dont have any investigators, but there is a lot to find. The week before that happened they had an awesome baptism so we have got to know that new convert. Elder Lauti is now in my old area, so we just switched places. Not to much happened in this week just because the day lost of getting ready to leave then getting into a new area. one thing that did happen is my hate for packing went way up! it was terrible to pack everything Tuesday. But i guess its alright. i am still not unpacked yet though.

One awesome thing is there is this old couple in the ward and he is a active member but his wife isnt. We went over there to talk to them and help her work her way to baptism. We had an awesome conversation. they are the nicest old people. She said that she wants to be married in the temple for eternity and she knows that that has to start with baptism. she has short term memory loss so thats hard for her. We are praying all we can and we are going to have her husband give her a blessing to remember the things that she needs to to be able to be baptized. It is going to be a lot of patient teaching, but she is going to be baptized. when we were leaving a little before we were talking about baptism. she was just like, well we cant do it tomorrow because we have family coming over, but i guess some time after that!! so we were really excited for that.   

Its good to hear that everything back at home is doing great! I am for sure missing playing soccer and going to the games, but its is a worth while sacrifice. good to know that Dad is still trying to be like me. maybe one day if he is lucky he will! Its weird to think that Brianne is coming home so soon. That is going to be weird to think that she is already home. but thanks for the update! i love you all!
also i have pictures!! with my face mom!

love elder mortensen

Elder Mortensen with His New Companion, Elder Harward
Elder Mortensen and Elder Bartschi.  Elder Mortensen went tracting
with him and his companion the first day he was in his area.

Elder Mortensen and Elder Coleman.  Elder Coleman
served with Elder Mortensen in Hermiston

Elder Mortensen and Elder Jordan.  Elder Mortensen
served with him in Hermiston.

Elder Scott and Elder Mortensen.  Elder Scott
is the District Leader.

Elder Mortensen and Elder West.  Elder West was
with Elder Morensen in the Mexico MTC.

Elder Wilson and Elder Mortensen

Monday, January 11, 2016

"Please Let Me Know That This Church Is True. I Already Know It Is true, Just Help Me Keep Learning."


This was a great week! it sounds like it was a fun one back at home also. I am jealous of the snow and skiing! and i guess the family time too. glad to hear all is going well. one crazy thing is transfers are this week and we still dont know who is going or staying!! The mission department of the church said no more transfer sites where all the missionaries will come together and have a little meeting then send them all on there way. So now we have what President Ware calls the WKM bus system. We meet different places for what zone you are going to and they drive you around to new areas and new companions. if you train you drive a car up, sometimes on your own which would be really weird. But now they tell us Monday nights and give us the transfer calls. So buying food for this week was hard. i dont want to waste money but i dont want to mess myself up if i stay. Its all for a good reason. This will make Sunday and Monday more focused days for missionaries and Tuesday will be for packing and visiting then Wednesday will be faster for transfers. We are kinda expecting for one of us to be moved because i have been with him for 3 transfers which is already different. so i will let you know next week i guess.

One of the best things of this week was we had an amazing lesson with a less active daughter of two of the amazing members of the Spanish group. The lord softens hearts for sure. She answered the door then she let us in and went to her room and said she wanted to rest. We asked if she would like to come talk but she didn't. We talked to the parents and shared what we learned earlier in Zone Conference about daily repentance and having the spirit with us always. As we were about to leave she came out to talk. We talked to her about why she hasn't came to church. She had doubts and didn't think she belonged there. We both were bearing testimony and teaching her the things that she needs to know to get her to feel the spirit again and want to read. She said she wouldn't come to church. the lord softened her heart into saying she would read and pray. the next day she was in church, the fist time in i think all i have been here! I now know for sure that the lord softens hearts to help people come unto him. It was an amazing miracle in this week.

One bad thing was D-- didn't come to church!! so she cant be baptized this week!! she will be next week though! Its been awesome to teach her. She is reading and learning with her little sister so they can both be baptized on the same day! We have really started to love their family and to be there with them. part of an amazing prayer that D-- said was please let me know that this church is true, i already know that it is true, just help me keep learning.  It was so awesome!! we are excited for her.

Elder Laffiteau and I learned a lot and are becoming better and better servants of the Lord everyday. This week we were able to Keep finding new investigators like we have been trying so hard to do.  We have seen through our faith that we can do  more then we can even imagine or think of. We have learned to expect to have success everyday.
Its been great to serve a mission. its going to fast!  Love you all!!!
Elder Mortensen

Monday, January 4, 2016

We Know That We Were Blessed Like That Because Of The Faith He Had and For Sure The Fast


Glad to hear that you are all doing great! Good to hear that you had a good break for Christmas and New Years! Now Jaxsen and Ali get to have the best part of the Break! Going back to school, lucky you. i bet you had a fun time doing all of your home work on Sunday night, because i am sure that is what happened. Haha i had a little laugh when you talked about the Gay Christmas party, i haven't heard that one here for a while know. (Note from Lauri:  my maiden name is Gay!)  But i am sure it was fun, it always is.

Its weird to think that Brianne is coming home in like less than a month! I am not going to see her but i am still excited. I am sad that i am going to miss all of the stories that she shares because when brayden came home that is what i remember. Its so weird that by that time, i will be 6 months out, it really dosnt feel like that at all! it goes way to fast.

The work has all been great. The walking around is starting to get cold though. We stay warm. by we i mean me because there is almost no hope for Elder Laffiteau to stay warm. Last night i decided to wear more jackets and the one night i do that we knock on these members house. They are from Tonga and gave us Tongan coco. It was funny, the father speaks good English but lots of the words arent right but it makes sense. He was telling us how they got a bowl and smashed the coco beans with a rock. Its doesnt really seem weird now but when he was saying it i couldnt help but laugh. i didnt laugh to much because i didnt want him to smash me. he is like 6' 5" and just massive. New Years was good. we had to come home at 6 again and plan. we just kinda had a little party. A little before 10:30 we pretended it was 12 and yelled happy New Years and drank a bottle of cyder and went to bed. Its was a fun night.

Our investigator that we are really focusing on right now is D--. She is still progressing. She is reading and praying and gets a lot out of what she reads. She wasnt able to come to church because people here dont drive in the snow. Even if there was only a half inch in the morning and the meeting was at 6 at night, it still scared all of them. its to bad becuse it is an easy excuse for them all. but its alright, we love them all anyways. We are also teaching a father that his 5 daughters go to church and all that are old enough are baptized. they are an awesome family. He has 5 daughters and they are willing to come out with us when there is a young woman investigator. even though they are like 2 year converts they love this gospel so much. He, A--, is going to be baptized eventually for sure.

This fast Sunday my testimony of Fasting really was strengthened. We were fasting to have more new investigators in this month and that our faith to find would get stronger and stronger. Today we found 3 new investigators. 1 from knocking doors and 2 more from potentials that we were inspired to go visit. that was 7 new investigators this week. We were truly blessed. we know that we were blessed like that because of the faith he had and for sure the fast. it was so awesome. it also ended with an amazing pork roast with some members.

it was a great week. I love you all!

Elder Mortensen